Another #TeaserTuesday!

Here's another UNEDITED little sample from my current WIP (Let Me Love You). Still no release date yet. 

I stumbled through the front doors of Bijou Park, hoping, wishing, and praying that the black coffee and plain bagel in my hands would serve to appease my boss. Peter Park was a horrible person. Temperamental, demanding, flippant, but talented and at the top of the custom jewelry game. An internship with him was an anxiety-ridden thrill ride and an opportunity most aspiring jewelers would kill for. I just happened to walk in on the right day—the day he and his assistant-slash-girlfriend received a beat down at the hands of his wife, Twyla. He was bloody and in need of a new assistant. I took advantage of his desperation by adding a little custom jeweler training to the deal. I'd been assisting and training under him and his staff jewelers for a little under a year.
But today I was late.
Peter Park didn't do late—ever.
I nodded at Freda, the tall, ebony receptionist who could slay any fashionista even though she was in her sixties, and headed straight for the gold door with the silver lever handles that led into Mr. Park's office. I knocked, waited, and when the door swung open to reveal a livid Twyla, I thanked the heavens for my tardiness. Twyla was a certified fool and only showed up at Bijou Park when trouble was brewing between her and Mr. Park.
"Good morning, Mrs. Park," I offered.
Twyla flipped her forty-inch Remy hair extensions over her shoulder and clasped her hands to her wide hips. She was at least two inches taller and sixty pounds heavier than her Korean American husband, and a damn pit bull. Mean, jealous, violent, and destructive. Peter might have reigned terror down on his employees, but his wife reigned terror down on him. Oddly enough though, she liked me, probably because she didn't see me as a threat since I didn't dress or act like I was trying to catch a man—specifically, her man. However, I still hated being around her. With her drama-filled reality show antics, she made black women as a whole look bad.
"Jo, honey, give us a minute. I’m in the middle of reminding my husband of a few things."
I glanced behind her to see Mr. Park at his desk, his silky black hair disheveled, tie crooked, glasses askew. The contents of the top of his desk were littering the floor around it. I almost felt sorry for him.
But not quite.
"Uh...sure. I'll be in the back with Shirl."
"Mm-hmm." She shut the door in my face.
I scurried to the small office occupied by Shirlene Ramsey, the most tenured bench jeweler. Shirl's strength was making Peter Park's artistic visions a reality since he rarely got his hands dirty anymore, so to speak. She didn't design jewelry, but she was excellent at interpreting others' designs. My goal was to design and create, and I was fortunate to be able to see both sides of the process on a daily basis.
"She still on the warpath?" Shirl asked, when I dropped into a chair next to her work station.
"Yep. What'd he do this time? You know?"
Shirl glanced up from the piece she was working on and shook her head. "All I know is we had all barely made it through the front doors when she stormed in yelling and screaming, but I can guess what happened."
I could, too. Mr. Park loved black women, surrounded himself with us here at his company, and was a compulsive cheater despite the fact that Twyla always caught up with his infidelities. It was as if he refused to stop cheating on her and she refused to take their five daughters and leave him. He cheated; she beat his ass and tore up his office. Rinse and repeat. It was a wonder if the ridiculousness of it all didn't affect Bijou Park, but then again, half the clientele ordered custom pieces for their mistresses or side pieces. The relatability of Peter Park's life was probably what made the business so successful.
"You were late?" Shirl asked, her eyes on her diamond-drenched work again.
"Yeah...overslept. I didn't fall asleep until early this morning."
"Netflix or Hulu?"
I rolled my eyes at how predictably pathetic my life was. "Hulu. Watched a bunch of Top Chef episodes."
Her forehead creased as she carefully added another diamond to the eagle-shaped medallion. "I didn't know you liked to cook."
"I'm tryna learn how to cook."
"By watching Top Chef?"
I shrugged. "I've picked up some good tips from that show."
"Girl, you better be getting you a soul food cook book, so you can cook your way to a husband."
"Had one of those. I'm good."
"Humph. Okay..."


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